Jubilee Celebrations at the St. Peter & St. Paul's Cathedral, Ma`arat Sayyidnaya, Damascus

 - September 14, 2005

His Holiness


His Beatitude the Catholicos


H.H. Patriarch, H.H. Pope Shenouda IIIand H.B. Catholicos


Faithful inside and outside the St.Peter & St.Paul's Cathedral, Ma'arat Saidnaya

during the Holy Mass by His Holiness on 14th September



PHOTOS - 2005


Photo Gallery -1
Photo Gallery -2
Photo Gallery -3




Patriarchal Silver Jubilee Celebrations

The Syrian Orthodox Church dedicated the month of September to commemorate and celebrate the Silver Jubilee of His Holiness Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church. Four main events took place at the Saint Aphrem Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Ma'arrat Saydnaya, Damascus, Syria, including the Jubilee Day on September 14, 2005. The program of the day included Holy Liturgy by His Holiness, a concert organized by the International Syrian Orthodox Scouts' Orchestra, a pilgrimage from St. Mary's Church in Saydnaya to St. Aphrem Monastery and a Scouts' parade.

Heads of Churches and officials from the region attended the Jubilee Day. Among them were H.H. Pope Schenouda III, H. B. Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim. A delegation from the Catholicosate of Cilicia, other church representatives, Muslim religious leaders, Government officials, Ambassadors and members of the Syrian Orthodox Church. MECC General Secretary, Mr. Guirgis Saleh attended the event and gave an address, congratulating H.H. Patriarch Zakka. H.H. Pope Schenouda gave an overview of the life and achievements of H.H. Patriarch Zakka.

Festivities included a Youth Day, a Day for exhibitions, Charity Bazaar and the Church Choir Concert, and a final Concert by the St. Aphrem Patriarchal Choir.







September 14, 2005


Your Holiness, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, the supreme head of our Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, Your Eminencies all Archbishops, Distinguished Guests, the Reverend Clergy, Respected nuns and all the assembled Faithful:

As I now stand before you all, I, firstly, praise the Lord for giving me the grace to be a member of the Blessed and Holy Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch. And with gratitude I remember the Apostle St. Peter the first Patriarch who reigned on the Holy See of Antioch, the See which was divinely ordained and confirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and St. Thomas the Apostle of India, and Patriarch Ignatius Yacoub III who placed his hand on my head and conferred upon me the High Priesthood, and his Holiness the most blessed Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas now reigning on the Holy See of Antioch who placed his hand on my head and consecrated me a Catholicos.

After the ascension of our Lord into heaven, the apostles who received the holy spirit proceeded to different parts. And thus the church of our Lord grew and spread fast in the world. The holy church, which continued to grow in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, came to be under the administrative set-up of four patriarchates in the 4th century through the work of the Holy Spirit and we, in India, became part of the patriarch of Antioch and all the east. Our Lord built his church on the faith which St. Peter the chief of the apostles confessed. (St. Mathew 16:18) and as commissioned by our Lord, the Apostle St. Peter established his See in Antioch. It may be recalled that it was at Antioch that the children of God were called "Christians" (Acts of the Apostles 11:26); and, for that reason, our church became worthy of the name "the mother of all churches".

His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, who was enthroned as the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East on the Holy Apostolic See of St. Peter on September 14, 1980, is now blessedly administering our holy church. When, in 1981, His Holiness bought land and started to work on this mount, there may not have been anyone who liked it; for there was practically nothing on this mount. This mount in Ma'arrat Seydnaya which now houses this magnificent St. Aphrem the Syrian Monastery Complex-the good fruit of the labour of His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas-may today be rightly called 'Mount Zakka'.

If His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Yacoub III attained recognition in heaven and earth for the beauty of his holy liturgy, His Holiness the Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas has become the 'Great Architect' in the history of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Just as stated in Genesis 31:5, God has always been with his holiness. And that is why during his holiness' period our Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch has achieved wonderful progress in various parts of the world-mere words are not sufficient to describe that progress. Our Holy Syrian Orthodox Church has once again Risen and is Flourishing under the reign of His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.

Our Syrian Orthodox Church in India under the holy See of Antioch and All the East is achieving progress by the great mercy of God and by the apostolic blessings and the special love and consideration of his holiness our patriarch who blessedly reigns on the holy Apostolic See of St. Peter. His Holiness' Apostolic visits to India in 1982, 2000, 2004 have greatly strengthened our church in India. It is not only progressing but has also become an object of praise before the honorable Government and other Christian Churches as well as the political and social leaders, shining forth as the rising sun.

On this glorious occasion of your holiness' patriarchal Silver Jubilee, on behalf of all thy spiritual children in India-their graces the metropolitans, the reverend Clergy of about 600, the respected Nuns and all other faithful-and on behalf of all our institutions in India and on my own behalf, I most humbly submit our hearty felicitations and well wished before thy holy presence. I pray God Almighty to grant your holiness good health and long life to shepherd God's flock for many more years to come.

When one looks at the great progress achieved by our universal Syrian Orthodox Church the world over during your holiness' reign, one sees that all that is stated in verses 10, 11 & 12 of chapter 34 of the Book of Deuteronomy about Moses the chief of the Prophets is true about your holiness also. Your holiness is a great blessing granted by God to our Holy Church. Your Holiness is indeed the great Moses of our times!

Amen Barekhmor.





- SEPTEMBER 21, 2004

Venue:   Cochin, Kerala-India




(a) Sliver Jubilee inauguration in India on September 2004


(b) Address of His Holiness at the inauguration of the Patriarchal Silver Jubilee Celebrations:

        His Holiness's address


(c) Apostolic Visit to India - Sep, 2004




H.H. Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas accompanied by H.B. Catholicos Mor Baselios Thomas I

arriving at Marine Drive, Cochin, for the inaugural function of the Patriarchal Jubilee in September 2004